Sport

Hassan Moustafa, an undivided reign over world handball

Illustrious Egyptian ruler, Tutankhamun changed his name during his life to restore polytheism. Hassan Moustafa, the Egyptian president of the International Handball Federation (IHF), nicknamed “the Pharaoh”, has not reached this stage. But he can boast of having seen during his lifetime a sports venue renamed in his name, at the end of December 2020.

Not just any one, since it is a 5,200-seat hall adjoining the pyramids of Giza, near Cairo, which is due to host matches of the world championship, which will kick off on Wednesday. January 13. Like an imprint of the omnipotence of this 76-year-old man, well installed at the top of the world handball pyramid since 2000.

If the 1999 World Cup, already organized in Egypt, was for him a launching pad towards the presidency of the IHF, this new home growth aims to enhance his prestige and constitutes “A kind of crowning”, according to Daniel Costantini, former coach of the France team and attentive follower of handball news.

A prestige diminished by the renunciation, in extremis, to welcome a gauge of 20% of spectators in the rooms. One of the few things he has failed to achieve in over twenty years of presidency. He is not exaggeration to say that Hassan Moustafa ends up getting everything he wants. “He is both very authoritarian and very emotional”, adds Daniel Costantini.

Ready for a probable sixth term

Suspected of corruption for “irregularities in the marketing of sports rights in 2011 by the German justice, pointed out in 2009 for a staggering increase in his salary, accused of silencing his opponents within the federation, Hassan Moustafa resists all storms. Those who dared to confront him or, worse, criticize him regretted it.

“He gets what he wants by threatening people, inside and outside the IHF, says a former member of the Federation wishing to remain anonymous. Some federations have said they have been threatened with being withdrawn from events in case they disagree with his demands. “

The latest example to date, Mauricio Moccia opposed in January 2018 the division into two entities of the Pan American Handball Federation (PATHF) decided by Hassan Moustafa. The Argentine leader denounced, in a press release, a “Attack on sovereignty” and the “Politics of fear” led by the authoritarian Egyptian.

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